landscapes of the american west

Few sights evoke the American West more than the saguaro cactus, found only in the Sonoran Desert. Saguaro National Park, close to the urban center of Tucson, Arizona, protects these majestic cacti. At the park, you can hike through fantastic desert scenery year-round. #Sunset photo courtesy of David Olsen.

After another few weeks away we are back with a vengeance and with some  Maxfield Parrish. Born in Philadelphia in 1870 Maxfield Parrish entered into the arts early, learning techniques from his artist father, Stephen Parrish. A bulk of Maxfield’s career was spent illustrating fairy-tales, nursery rhymes, magazines and advertisements. By the 1920′s he abandoned commercial art and began painting for himself. In his own words: 
“I’m done with girls on rocks! I’ve painted them for thirteen years and I could paint them and sell them for thirteen more. That’s the peril of the commercial art game. It tempts a man to repeat himself. it’s an awful thing to get to be a rubber stamp. I’m quitting my rut now while I’m still able.”

Here is his piece, Grand Canyon (ca. 1902).

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Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902, Germany/United States)

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Bierstadt was a German-born American painter best known for his dramatic landscapes of the American West. To paint the scenes, Bierstadt joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion. Though not the first artist to record these sites, Bierstadt was the foremost painter of these scenes for the remainder of the 19th century.

Born in Germany, Bierstadt was brought to the United States at the age of one by his parents. He later returned to study painting for several years in Düsseldorf. He became part of the Hudson River School in New York, an informal group of like-minded painters who started painting along this scenic river. Their style was based on carefully detailed paintings with romantic, almost glowing lighting, sometimes called luminism. An important interpreter of the western landscape, Bierstadt, along with Thomas Moran, is also grouped with the Rocky Mountain School.

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Follow #mypubliclandsroadtrip Stops This Week in BLM New Mexico and Nearby States!

BLM in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas care for 13.5 million acres of public lands, from breathtaking prairies and lush riparian areas to open woodlands and desert peaks – the iconic landscapes of the American West. Join #mypubliclandsroadtrip all week to explore outstanding national monuments and wilderness areas, visit unique historic and prehistoric sites, enjoy a diversity of recreation sites and more!  

Follow posts here on Tumblr all week; see daily recaps of posts on the BLM New Mexico journal: http://mypubliclands.tumblr.com/roadtripnewmexico